OSCA, as it was nothing but another name for the Maserati brothers, did not readily agree to built street cars. The brothers four built race cars. Period.
Of course there were exceptions, rare ones, and most of the exceptions were built in the guise of coupes, street coupes and GTs, of which the last of the line OSCA 1600GT was the most famous and certainly the most numerous, with some 56 examples built.
But of the heralded MT4 line, there were very few cars built to coupe specs; the vast majority of the 76 odd MT4s were built as spiders. In fact only five MT4s were ever assigned by the factory to receive berlinetta bodies. The below information was compiled from the book “OSCA, La Rivincita dei Maserati“ by Orsini and Zagari.
This was purchased by Liugi Piotti of Milan in 1951. The chassis was sent to Frua, who created a tight, attractive berlinetta body for the car. The engine was originally number 1304 and was a 2AD 1350cc unit. A photo of the car appears on page 58 of the Orsini/Zagari OSCA book.
In 1952 Mario Damonte of Turin purchased this Vignale/Michelotti bodied coupe, with dramatic scalloped sides. The team of Damonte and “Helde” entered the street coupe in the 1952 LeMans 24 Hour and won first in class. Photo page 54 of “OSCA”.
Looking very much like a Ferrari, this Vignale coupe was built for Francia da Armangaud in 1953. Nothing further is known about the car or its history. See page 292, “OSCA”.
This is the now famous Vignale coupe recently sold at an auction, and perhaps the most beautiful of all OSCA coupes. Built by the factory, it was the 1955 Turin show car. It resided with collector Walter Grell for most of its life and is still totally original. Photo above.
The subject of this story, and by far the most mysterious of the OSCA coupes. While Morelli constructed many of the traditional OSCA spider bodies, they made a coupe for OSCA racer Jim Simpson. It was destroyed shortly after delivery and we have no pictures of the original body. Below are photos of 1176 as it exists today.
Of course there were other OSCA coupes, as in many cases, an early ’siluro’ (cycle fendered) bodied OSCA was later rebodied as a road going coupe. Here are three listed by Orsini and Zagari:
Siluro bodied car, built in 1949. And after an accident in 1952 was rebodied as a Vignale coupe. In 1955-6 it was again changed into a spider. Photo page 185, OSCA.
A siluro for race driver Luigi Villoresi in 1949, he had it changed to a coupe by Vignale in 1951. In this form it looks remarkably like a small Vignale Cunningham. Photo page 292, “OSCA”.
Ippolito Berrone purchased this siluro in 1950. In 1951 it appeared at the Turin Auto show as a Frua coupe. This beautiful car was later transformed into a Morelli spider. Photo page 37 “OSCA”.
The Morelli Berlinetta, Chassis 1176
According to Alfieri Maserati, his family made the drawings of the original coupe body for the coachbuider Morelli. The completed car was then sold to James Simpson on October 5 of 1956 in Chicago.
Three months later Simpson had an accident, and sold the car. The next owner apparently put the Devin body on in place of the original Morelli coupe. Much Later the car ended up in the Rosso Bianco collection , and was use like a parts bank!
The chassis is now being restored, as can be seen from the below photos sent by Mr. Pund.
After the accident, 1176 was given a Devin body and perhaps raced somewhere in the midwest. This is the car as purchased by Mr. Pund, still with the Devin body. If anyone recognizes this unique body please contact us!
Here and below are various photos of the chassis of 1176.